Green Schools

GREEN FLAG NEWS

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2023/2024 Green Schools

Green Schools 2023-2024

Our Green Schools committee is busy working on our 8th Green School flag for our school. Our theme this year is on Global Citizenship Marine Environment, with a particular focus on Marine Pollution. Our aim is to create awareness and understanding of the importance of a healthy marine environment to human life, the detrimental effects plastic pollution is having on our marine environment both here in Ireland and internationally, and how we can do our bit to reduce plastic pollution through the everyday choices we make. We also are maintaining the other themes by recycling, not wasting water or electricity and walking or cycling instead of driving. We all have a part to play to try and save our planet.

Sources of Marine Litter

Litter dropped in towns and the countryside e.g. plastic bottles, plastic bags.

Overflowing bins e.g. takeaway packaging.

Litter blown by the wind – all kinds of litter ends up in the rivers which flow into the sea.

Discarded fishing gear – ropes and nets.

Why is Marine Litter harmful to the Environment?

· Plastics do not leave the environment but are broken down over time into smaller pieces called microplastics.

· Marine life can ingest plastic causing blockages in their digestive system leading to malnutrition/starvation.

· Marine life can suffocate by being caught in plastic bags e.g. turtles.

· Some marine life can become entangled in fishing nets causing injury and death.

· Marine litter can become a health hazard for beach users e.g. broken bottles, food packaging may attract rats.

What can we do?

Refuse, Reduce and Reuse plastics!

Cut down/out single use plastic e.g. coffee cups, plastic bottles, straws.

Pick up litter on the road and on the beach.

Our Green Schools Committee for 2023/2024

Our Green Schools Committee for 2022/2023

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Green Schools Committee with Shane Casey, Environmental Awareness Officer from Carlow Co. Co in October 2022

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Green Schools 2021/22

The theme we have been working on for the last couple of years is Global Citizenship – Energy.

Most of the energy used in Ireland every day is from burning fossil fuels, like coal, oil and peat. This energy is used every day in homes, businesses, schools and for travel. Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases which are causing climate change. Greenhouse gases cause the earth to heat up by trapping the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Climate change is causing the earth to become warmer.

Because of climate change:

• Global temperatures are rising

• The polar ice caps are melting

• Droughts and flooding are more common

• Deserts are getting bigger

• Some animals and plants are at risk of becoming extinct

• Extreme weather like storms and hurricanes are more common.

Fossil fuels, or non-renewable energy resources will not last forever. Ireland has a lot of renewable energy, for example from the sun, and wind, that will not run out. Renewable energy produces less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. It’s important to understand that the choices you make today will decide the future of the climate!

Green School Reminders for Parents by Grace McDonald 4th

1. Make sure you turn off lights when you leave a room.

2. Only put the dishwasher on when it’s full and the same with the washing machine.

3. Try walk/cycle to places if possible.

4. Use solar panels or wind turbines to power your house.

5. Grow your own vegetables and use a compost bin.

6. Take a shower rather than a bath.

7. Fill up your kettle to the right amount for your cup.

8. Hang your clothes out to dry.

9. Turn your heating down a notch.

5th Green Flag

We have been awarded our 5th green flag!  This flag is for biodiversity.  The awards ceremony took place in Kilkenny on Wednesday 11th May.  Congratulations to Ms O’Brien and the Green Schools Committee who have worked so hard on various projects over a two year cycle to achieve the 5th Flag for our school. Maith sibh! Also thanks to Maria Cullen for her enthusiasm, time, expertise and encouragement of the Green Schools project.

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The Green Schools Committee

BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity is the variety of animals and plants found on the planet.

The diversity of species is not evenly distributed throughout the world, for example there is more life in tropical regions than in polar areas.

Plants, animals and climate work together to maintain the balance of nature.

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WHY IS BIODIVERSITY IMPORTANT?

Biodiversity is important for sustaining life on Earth beacause it prevents any one species from letting the balance of nature out of order.

We may not like snakes. We might want to kill them but snakes like to eat rats. If we killed snakes, then we would end up having a rat problem.

Biodiversity means maintaining the balance of nature so that no one thing can become too powerful.

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The websites below are useful if you would like to find out more about biodiversity:

www.biodiversity.ie

www.irelandswildlife.com

www.biology.ie

www.irishbutterflies.ie

www.mammals-in-ireland.ie

www.birdwatchireland.ie

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